Monday, October 11, 2010


So how many of us have a great old watch (the non-battery, wind-up type) but it sits in a drawer because WHO FIXES WATCHES ANYMORE? Well, I found someone who does! His name is John Riabov, out of Landenberg, PA - Name of business is Wyndwood Tyme, and he can be reached at 610-274-2014. I've had two of these great vintage watches sitting around for YEARS, but now I'll be able to wear them again since John's going to fix them!

Check him out:

If you're interested in knowing more about PFI, who loves to recommend great people, check us out on

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Out with the old, in with the new...

We're cleaning out shop and making room for all of the fantastic new pieces we're adding to the PFI inventory. Check out the Planning Factory International Facebook Page for items, images and costs!

"Click Here" to see Planning Factory's Facebook Page!


The PFI Team Members LOVE to travel! We're always planning our "next big trip" and asking each other for suggestions on locations, restaurant recommendations, travel websites, etc.

Currently, my favorite travel websites are:

If you have any recommendations on excellent travel websites, please do let us know!

Planning Factory International

Monday, August 2, 2010

We're back!!!

The Planning Factory Team has been WILD this last month. Where did July go? We can't complain, as it's been an extremely busy summer, but it has taken us off-line from regular posts to the PFI Blog.

So... with that said - here's a brief recap of July 2010:

The first week of July blew in with a huge event in Bermuda - the Bacardi Limited Annual General Meeting. The program was fantastic and the venue selected was simply stunning. If you haven't yet stayed at Tucker's Point Hotel & Spa, please do check it out!

Upon our return, we executed two events, back to back, on the same day - one at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia (Global Fusion) and one in South Jersey (Motorsports - Babes Burning Rubber). Both events, although produced on a 100+ degree, were executed flawlessly with extremely happy clients.

Immediately following our July 17, 2010 craziness, two fantastic events for Today Media Inc. were upon us: the Best of Delaware Party and the Best of the Main Line Party. PFI worked closely with the Today Media team to produce upscale, chic lounges for both events, as well as providing logistical suggestions for the layout of the event, entertainment suggestions and color stories.

Finally, the month came to an end with a beautiful wedding held at the DuPont Country Club over the weekend. Splashes of Silver and Lavender graced the multiple tablescapes in the ballroom while the beautiful bride and groom danced the night away. Cheers!


Be sure to check out our Facebook Page for photo albums of all of the events outlined above. We really had a great time working on these events!

Friday, July 16, 2010


Recently back from a very large program in Bermuda. Kate beasted it (as always) keeping the Hotel in check and detailing every rooming need. Great job!

We had an AWESOME Mixologist dazzling guests at the "main event", along with a Cigar Roller & famous DJ! It was wonderful!

This weekend we're in Philly on one event and NJ on another! PHEW....we keep rolling!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sherryl & Merryl

Where have they gone......

too busy throwing mitvahs?

too hot outside to wear costumes with the baby model's photo & feather boas?

I think a skit is LONG overdue!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


So how many times DID I fly out of JFK with boxes in tow? Many. I go to the counter this past Sunday for my flight to Bermuda with two small boxes, which are gifts--thank God for once it wasn't necessities for an event!

Jet Blu no longer allows you to fly with boxes as carry on OR to check them in! So a word to the wise: if you are thinking you can ship some boxes with you on Jet Blu as you fly to your next event, FORGET ABOUT IT! Items have to be in luggage or bags, but not boxes. They now consider them CARGO.

Fortunately, my bag was big enough, and yes, I used every inch of every pocket!



Great Design Article in the NY Times...

I love a good re-post, especially if someone didn't catch it the first time around.

This is a great article about a fairly new website called Lonny. It was created by two former employees (editor and photographer) of Domino Magazine - a great interior design magazine that closed in May 2009.

They decided to create an online magazine, with true pages to turn, zoomable photos, etc for the design community to enjoy, after losing so many inspiring publications (Domino, Blueprint and Home & Garden).

Check out this article and let us know what you think!!!


Friday, June 18, 2010

The Most Interesting Man in the World

Yes I did manage to get the local Mexian Restaurant to sell me the life sized, 6' cutout!!!!!
Only someone from PFI would leave a restaurant with a life sized cardboard man!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010



1 lb. ricotta cheese
3 eggs, slightly beaten
3 heaping tablespoons granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sifted flour
1/2 tsp. salt
Oil for deep frying (yep, you are actually frying!)
Confectioner's sugar (YUM!)

Mix ricotta, eggs, granulated sugar and baking powder and let stand one hour. Then add flour and salt and beat until smooth. Drop batter by teaspoonfuls (these make nice, mouth-size puffs) into oil heated to 350 degrees and brown lightly. Remove with slotted spoon to drain and dust with Confectioner's sugar. Eat WARM!

I'm not sure how many it makes because that part of the recipe has been lost for years! But the above is all you need to make everyone declare Ricotta Cheese Puffs as a new favorite!



If you are ambitious on the same day, you can move on to this one:

Buy a pound cake (you might want to after making the Ricotta Cheese Puffs because you may not want an assembly line in your kitchen like I do when it comes to baking; we refer to this as the "baking frenzy");
Slice cake lengthwise so that you make (3) total "layers";
Mix a combination of Ricotta Cheese , about a small container, (see why these recipes are good made together?) and a container of Cool Whip;
Fill the layers with this mixture and add freshly sliced strawberries and blueberries on top of each layer;
Assemble for a beautiful and impressive presentation that is easy to do and YUM!
You can even add small American Flags to put it over the top.

Nice choices for your get-together. Happy Eating!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I love when this happens (lol); I received a phone call from a company claiming to be advising me of "mandatory posters" related to health care that I HAD to post, and of course, buy. Here's what I was told: "You MUST post HIPPA ($32,95); HEALTH CARE REFORM ($19.95); something called the PPAC Act ($44.95) or you are NOT IN COMPLIANCE."

My red flag went up as soon as pressure was applied. I responded that I would first check with my accountant, health care broker and possibly my lawyer.

So after doing the appropriate asking around, guess what I found?? Not only are the posters NOT mandatory, some of the information I got was that the pros in these fields have not heard of some of them and therefore the need for posting. And then this: these are available for printing, FREE, on line.

No kidding. And of course I just had to call back the person who called me to say, "nice try."

So be a part of my generation and QUESTION EVERYTHING. That philosophy can serve you well and always, always, stir the pot.


Friday, June 11, 2010

We had an amazing 'garage sale' at PFI for the last two days! Woo hoo! Got a lot of cleaning out done AND made some folks pretty happy. Here's the "sleeper" item that went like crazy: PENGUINS. Little, black and white stuffed penguins. Selling like hot cakes. . . who'd have thunk it?? So fun. Let's do it again next year.


Friday, June 4, 2010

Are you having a Mitzvah?!?

Check out this PFI feature...

This website, created by Sheri Lapidas helps Mitzvah Moms and Dads to make good vendor choices.

Mazel Tov!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Back from Bermuda (again)!

Very successful event with Bermuda Insurance Institute! 300 people attended this Awards Dinner on Saturday night...

Check out the centerpiece....(though not the best picture)....we used Manzanita branches with hanging votives, resting in a long vase that is filled with moss and topped with blue hydrangea.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I hope everyone is gearing up for the July 'BEST OF' Parties courtesy of TODAY MEDIA! Delaware Today and Main Line Today are great clients who value great ideas! We're working with them on both the Dover Downs 'BEST OF' Party for Delaware and the Drexelbrook 'BEST OF' Party for Main Line Today, Philadelphia area. Put these on your calendar!!! COME TO HEAR, SEE AND TASTE the 'BEST OF' what Today Media has to offer!! They are going to be spectacular--again earning their reputation for the best party of the year! Look for ads coming out EVERYWHERE soon!

New banquet facility at Ed Oliver Golf Club being introduced this Saturday, 1-4 p.m.--800 North DuPont Road. I'm planning to stop gardening long enough to take a look!


Friday, April 30, 2010

Hats Off!

There are almost too may events happening around the region to discuss but perhaps the one that everyone knows is Point-to-Point at Winterthur. The event is held in conjunction with the Kentucky Derby in Louisville. Big hats, big tailgates, and this year big heat will all be part of the scene.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hooray for Hollywood!

We have been getting many requests for a Hollywood-style experience. And while our event designs are all custom we can accommodate a rental with some of our in-stock Hollywood signature decor. We have (apparently two of the few in the area) 6' wide by 25' long Red Carpets and the chrome stanchions that flank them. We also have a hand painted 8' tall x 16' wide "Hollywood Sign" hard wood backdrop as well. (2) 12' tall, (2) 9' tall, (2) 7' tall and (2) 5' tall white canvas palm trees work wonderfully for this theme especially when hit with colored light from our wireless lighting units. And don't forget our red lip couch- it totally says Hollywood!


Creating a special tabletop design for the Delaware College of Art & Design (DCAD) fundraiser. Going to make tabletop a piece of original art; build tablescape around colors, concept; add high-end chairs, amazing florals, china, crystal settings. Perhaps the winning bidder will "dine in the islands" at a very plush resort!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Planning Factory's Working with a Reality TV Show! Have you Heard???

If you haven't already heard, Planning Factory is working with a Reality TV Show called "Party Mamas." We're looking for Party Mamas OR Party Papas interested in throwing an event for their child.

Check out the article featured in the May 2010 issue of Delaware Today Magazine. This provides an overview of our partnership with Party Mamas and requests interested parties to contact the Producer, Stacey Jenkins, today!

Delaware Today Article: "Playing First String"

If you're interested or know someone who might be, tell them to contact Stacey or PFI today. Party Mamas will be filming this summer and early fall in Delaware.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Troll in the Closet

We all found this an adorable story, full of childhood innocence and compassion.

A friend was talking with another nurse acquaintance recently who told this story:

The nurse has a challenged son who is now 16 years old. A large kid for his age, he is now capable of being left on his own for short periods of time while his mother runs under 1/2 hour errands close by. Even so, she calls him frequently to check on him while she is out.

When she asked him during her first call how he was doing he replied: "I'm fine, I'm pushing cookies under my closet door to feed the Troll in my closet".
Now the Mom had never experienced any imaginary friends with her son before so she turned the car around quickly and went back home to check.

When she entered the room, sure enough her son was pushing cookies under his closet door. Asking her son to please stand aside, and fully expecting to see a small animal that had gotten in somehow, she opened her son's closet door.

Screaming and jumping back she discovered the "Troll" in the closet was a Small Person!

Apparently this man had stopped by as part of the Census taking process and when the son opened the door to him, the son was thrilled that he had a new friend and picked him up bodily and placed him in the closet and proceeded to feed him cookies under the door!

The census taker knew there was no harm meant and decided to wait patiently until Mom returned to "rescue" him. The two new friends parted- happily ever after.

Gala vs Gala

some say tomato some say tomata...

some say gayla some say gala...

except no one says tomata---it's really just an expression. but people really do say "gayla"...WHY!!????

Monday, April 19, 2010

Overheard at the WOW Gala...

Another successful (and record-breaking) fundraiser happened this past Saturday night, the DE HIV Consortium's WOW Gala . This event does a remarkable job raising awareness while having a spectacular time.

Many of our friends that attend are Gay and one special friend had this to say about another event he attended:

"I went to an event recently and there was a female stripper there and I just had to give her a $20 tip." (You're probably wondering like I was, why this Gay guy is tipping a straight female stripper.)

Wait for it....

He continued:

"We'll she had on the most spectacular shoes I had ever seen! They were gray snakeskin with a 6 inch chrome heel. I loved them!"

When I stopped laughing I had to tell him that was probably the gayest remark I ever heard and his reply was: "I know but I had to, they were great!"

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Proms are all the Rage!

The spring season has kept the PFI Team busy with multiple Prom Event Designs. We always enjoy it, as we all relish in all of our own Junior & Senior prom memories. You know the fond memories we speak of, right?

Like the Excellent Cuisine at the Venue:

Yikes, anyone have a Mylanta?!?!?

How about the awesome Decor?

What horrible Prom themes our student bodies selected!

Ooh, and what about those designer duds???


It's so nice to be in the position we're in now, to help make better memories! We're working on some truly fantastic custom-designed Signature Environments. Let us know if we can help work with you and your school to design a spectacular affair!

Stay tuned for photos... or visit our website for more information...!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Why hold a Social Event?

Social Events (just like Corporate Events) are held by individuals to acheive very specific goals. You may want to celebrate a family member's or an organization's acheivements and milestones. Perhaps you are interested in promoting your association's or organization's programs and want to reach out to an extended client base.

A Social Event brings people together and a professional planning company like Planning Factory International can help with all the elements that make the event a success. From the most enticing custom invitation, the just right venue and decor, to the perfect food and beverage menu and everything in between, we know how to make your Social Event a Special Event!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


For a real eye opener, read, "The Speed of Trust" - couldn't be more applicable in today's world.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Derby Day Events

The first Saturday in May is perfect for celebrating the Kentucky Derby with your friends and family. Here are some simple ideas to make your event fabulous:

  1. First call Planning Factory International to create your Derby Experience with signature decor and props, food & beverage menus, themed activities and entertainment.

  2. Create a Race Day Program. Use horse racing terms to outline your party details.

  3. Remind your guests to dress the part- Top hats, skimmers and derbys for the men and large garden party hats for the ladies (the bigger the better!).

  4. Encourage good-natured betting without exchanging money. Offer prizes to the winners (like your table centerpieces after the event). Or make it simple and put all the Derby horses' names in a cup, each guest pulls a name until someone pulls the winner- provide a small prize like a chocolate horseshoe or roses.

  5. Complete the party with time-honored Kentucky favorites like barbecue, fried chicken and of course Mint Juleps.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


We've been contacted by a reality show out of Canada who wants to work with Planning Factory Bermuda to produce a show featuring a fun, social event! It's called Party Mamas (and Papas); so if any of you are out there and planning something fun and exciting, please contact or ASAP to talk about this amazing opportunity!

Friday, April 9, 2010


Hey out there . . . it's getting closer! Your and my favorite date - April 15! News today is that 47% of Americans aren't paying anything to the Government this year. Get those "cards and letters" out by next week, especially if you're one of the 53% ! We need 'ya!

Signed, "Sarcasm Running Rampant" at PFI

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Unique Social Event Venues

While a large Ballroom with all the amenities might suit your event perfectly, some of you want something very different for your Wedding, Anniversary, Sweet 16, Quincenara, Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebration.

Museums, Sports Arenas, Private and Public Parks, unfinished, raw Construction Space, Boats, Beaches, Mansions, Camps- anything the Planning Factory International minds can dream of, can be transformed into an event venue that matches your personality and interests!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Send Out Cards

Planning Factory International is a distributor of Send Out Cards. If you're interested in learning more about this FABULOUS company, please contact a PFI Team Member today.

What a great way to market to your clients, friends and family members with traditional greeting cards mailed directly for just $1.00. Did we mention you can upload your very own photos - we prefer our EVENT photos!!!


And who doesn't like to receive a letter in the mail?!?!?!

Further Proof That There Are NO COINCIDENCES!!

So I go to the Government Procurement Meeting yesterday. Why I do this, I don't know. You might as well put my head through a wringer. But not to eliminate any possibility, I attend and happen (here's the coincidence) to sit in front of someone from Bethlehem, PA. Why is this important you ask? Well, we did a small job in Old Little Town of Bethlehem recently, and so I wanted to strike up a conversation like, "hey, we were just in your town." Turns out this is a genius manufacturer of the coolest lighting products I've seen in a long time . . . totally solar powered and PERFECT FOR EVENT applications! We are already scheduling a site visit with them, but I have to ask, for what other reason would this lighting guy and me happen to be sitting next to each other? Ah, yes! The Universe at work. Because it's certainly not at work to deliver Government contracts!

Cher in real life 4/7/10

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Unique Bar & Bat Mitzvah Ideas

The Celebration Cake for your next social event can be the talk of the event! We offer custom creations designed with your theme, colors, hobbies and interests in mind.

Recently a client chose 5 different cakes that replicated her favorite Juicy Couture purse (pictured here), ballet dance shoes (with box), favorites DVD's, books, and gift wrapped presents. The cakes were made with her favorite cake flavors and fillings.

And don't forget Cupcake Cakes- these are the answer to serving the kids individually with very little waste. At a recent Bar Mitzvah our honored guest liked a tower of cupcakes in his favorite team colors that resembled a trophy when surrounded by candles (see picture).


It's 5:35 a.m. and I'm going to be off and running soon to attend the Philadelphia Economic Recovery Procurement Summit with Liz. Meeting people one on one; these are fun!

Monday, April 5, 2010

America's Most Underrated National Parks

Go into the wild and discover coral reefs, hanging glaciers, and acres of untouched backcountry.

By Reid Bramblett

There are 58 national parks in the United States, many of them unsung natural oases full of majestic beauty. And while the marquee parks—Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Yosemite—are well worth visiting, there are drawbacks, namely high admission prices and enormous crowds. An average of 26,542 people visit Yellowstone on a typical July day—nearly twice as many as Michigan’s gloriously isolated Isle Royale National Park gets in an entire year. The famous park also charges a $25 entrance per adult—much more than Isle Royale’s $4 admission price.

The other parks on our list may also be little known, but they too are singularly spectacular, each incorporating special features. So strap on your boots and get ready to hit the nature trails of some of our least-known national treasures.

Capitol Reef National Park - Utah

Capitol Reef was established around a massive, 100-mile-long wrinkle in the earth’s crust called the Waterpocket Fold (the “reef” in the park name). This awesome and colorful mountainous layer cake showcases 10,000 feet—and 270 million years—of sedimentary history.

Cool Fact: The most popular day hike—Capitol Gorge, down a twisting dry-wash canyon, past a majestic domelike outcropping, to a series of natural water cisterns—takes you through the hills that were once the hideout of Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch.

Don’t Miss: The spectacular drive to the park from the west along Route 12, and the 1,400-year-old Indian petroglyphs on the roadside cliffs above the many orchards of Fruita, a historic hamlet where mule deer graze under the shade of cottonwoods along the Fremont River.

Congaree National Park - South Carolina

Congaree is a slice of the bayou just outside Columbia, S.C. Its some 27,000 acres of floodplain (the polite word for “swamp”) were set aside to preserve the largest remaining tract of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest in the United States.

Cool Fact: This is serious forest, including some of the tallest trees (the loblolly pines can reach nearly 170 feet) in the eastern United States, forming one of the highest natural canopies in the world.

Don’t Miss: Free, ranger-guided weekend canoe tours on Cedar Creek, which flows gently around the knuckles of ancient bald cypress and tupelo garlanded with Spanish moss.

Biscayne National Park - Florida

Ninety-five percent of this colorful park on Miami’s doorstep is underwater. Save for 30 islets and a mangrove forest fringe on the mainland, Biscayne is 173,000 acres of Caribbean-clear waters that wash over the sea-grass shallows of Biscayne Bay—and the world’s third largest coral reef.

Cool Fact: There are 72 shipwrecks in the park. Six are part of a Maritime Heritage Trail opening in late 2010. The 112-foot schooner Mandalay (a posh windjammer cruiser sunk in 1966) is shallow enough for snorkelers.

Don’t Miss: Some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving in the United States. Swim with manatees and more than 200 species of fish—colorful coral-nibblers, toothy silver barracuda, and 500-pound groupers.

Isle Royale National Park -Michigan

This gorgeous park near Thunder Bay, Canada, is the largest island in the world’s largest freshwater body, Lake Superior. Though it ranks as the fifth least-visited park (14,000 annual visitors) in the nation, it has the highest backcountry use. It’s accessible only by boat or seaplane and is one of the few national parks to close in winter.

Cool Fact: The isolation makes this a unique bio-preserve. Isle Royale has freshwater clams, snails, and insects in sizes and densities not seen elsewhere since the 1800s (bring DEET). It’s also the only place where moose and wolves coexist without bears to balance atop the predator pole.

Don’t Miss: A boat tour around some of the park’s 400 satellite islands, and a backcountry camping trip.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park -

The Gunnison thunders down the steepest mountain descent of any river in the United State s through one of the most spectacular and deepest canyons in the country. The less-trafficked North Rim has a great campground, at the lip of a nearly 2,000-foot plunge into the gorge.

Cool Fact: Stack the Empire State Building atop the Willis Tower (a.k.a. Sears Tower) and you’d still be two stories short of the canyon rim at Warner Point, 2,722 feet above the river.

Don’t Miss: Rafting the Gunny itself—a raging river of Class III to IV rapids sluicing though a canyon that’s often only 40 feet wide between mighty rock walls rising hundreds of feet—in the adjacent Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park - North Dakota

This landscape of mythic western history, where Sitting Bull fought and General Custer hounded the Sioux, has the same eerily eroded badlands, shaggy buffalo, and bighorn sheep that draw crowds to Badlands National Park in South Dakota—but with half the visitors. Also: wild horses.

Cool Fact: In 1883, a 25-year-old politician from back East arrived in these parts to hunt buffalo. He started the first of several ranches (now part of the park) and began his extreme image makeover from scrawny New Yorker to strapping western adventurer (and future president) Teddy Roosevelt.

Don’t Miss: A horseback ride through the hills and badlands, splashing across the Little Missouri River.

Great Basin National Park - Nevada

This remote desert park in east-central Nevada has plenty of groves of gnarled bristlecone clocking in at more than 4,000 years old, as well as aspen, jackrabbits, and alpine wildflowers spread over 77,000 acres that range from the basin floor at 5,000 feet above sea level to peaks topping 13,000 feet.

Cool Fact: The skies over isolated Great Basin rank among the darkest in the lower 48 states, providing some of the best stargazing in the nation.

Don’t Miss: The glittering marble caverns of Lehman Caves, and the 3.4-mile round-trip hike to the Lexington Arch, a rare aboveground limestone arch that, at six stories, is one of the largest in the United States.

North Cascades National Park - Washington
Fifty miles from Bellingham on the Canadian border is a picture-postcard Pacific Northwest landscape of sawtooth mountains slung with hammocks of snow. More than 300 glaciers feed some of the country’s highest waterfalls, and wildlife, including the occasional grizzly, prowl the park’s old-growth forests.

Cool Facts: North Cascades is one of the snowiest places on earth and contains more than half of the glaciers in the lower 48 states. It also has the highest number of recorded plant species of any national park in the country.

Don’t Miss: A hike on the nearly 400 miles of trails—perhaps the stiff, 12-mile-round-trip Cascade Pass–Sahale Arm Trail winding through wildflower fields past waterfalls and glaciers with panoramas of some of the park’s 127 alpine lakes.

Channel Islands National Park -

Just offshore from developed SoCal lie the Channel Islands, five of which are protected as a national park. Fewer than 30,000 people actually leave the mainland to explore the islands themselves, where 175 miles of untrammeled shores make pristine breeding grounds for harbor seals and sea lions.

Cool Facts: Among the islands’ more than 2,000 plant and animal species are 145 found nowhere else in the world; they also have one of the best-preserved archaeological records on the Pacific coast, documenting 10,000 years of continuous human habitation.

Don’t Miss: A boat tour during whale migrations (blue and humpback in summer, gray from late December to mid-March) and a hike on the easy, 1.5-mile Anacapa Loop trail, which runs along the island’s dramatic ridgeline.

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park -Alaska

At 13.2 million acres of Alaskan wilderness, this, the largest U.S. park, is six times the size of Yellowstone and larger than nine U.S. states—yet it has only two roads, together barely totaling 105 miles. Combined with its contiguous neighbor parks, the 24 million acres form the world’s largest international protected area, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Cool Facts: The park has North America’s highest concentration of glaciers and encompasses nine of the 16 tallest mountains in the U.S. The park’s namesake, the 14,163-foot Mount Wrangell, is one of the world’s largest active volcanoes; on clear days, you can see it smoking.

Don’t Miss: A tour of the historic Kennecott copper mine buildings, followed by lunch at the New Golden Saloon in the funky former boomtown of McCarthy (pop: 42). Or, try rafting the Copper River or world-class fishing in Yakutat.

Did You Know This About PFI??

PFI entered the World Trade Center Memorial Competition with Mitchell Associates several years ago. While doing some research this weekend, I found our entry on line and thought you might be interested to see it. The design was based on creating a structure that was a replica of the human DNA, with an eternal flame at the top, representing the spirits of those lost in the World Trade Center disaster. Along with a lot of other descriptive info, here's our submission:

If you find the wording too small to read, please visit The Web for more information.

Smile & Say Hello

We're a huge fan of smiling and saying hello to anyone and everyone we encounter while working on-site. It's the best way to put people in a good move, ease tensions and create a productive work environment. The next time you're in a questionable mood - smile and say "hello" to a stranger. It releases tensions and puts you and recipients in a good mood!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Meet the PFI & PFB Team!

As we're on the heels of a holiday weekend, we thought today's post would be a great time to feature photos of the PFI/PFB team members through the last few years. At various client events, networking receptions, etc.


Here's a shot of the PFI team at the Best of Delaware 2009 Event:

Here are Cher and Ed at an event:

Kate, Lindsay, Cher & Susan at an event in the Bermuda:

PFI has a great tradition of holding Thanksgiving Tea at the Hotel DuPont every year - here's a shot of Lindsay and Dana at last year's event:

Here's Kate, Chooch and Liz at High Tea:

Well Bon Jour, creature from New Orleans! Here's Kate with a Mardi Gras Float:

Antonio & Dana are (dancing, miming, people watching?) working onsite:

Susan's keeping the authors safe and fans in order at the Delaware Book Festival:

Ed's always with one of the girls... here's an oldie with Dana celebrating the holidays in Bermuda:

Here's Lindsay checking out an "interactive" dance floor at The Special Event Show:

Here's Antonio, Kristina & Liz at a Hershey Park - we were on a Site Inspection, no, really:

Here's a great photo of Liz and Antonio:

A group shot - very intense:

An extreme close-up of Kristina and Kate:

We hope you've enjoyed our walk down memory lane. Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks for new team member photos!!!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Are Blogs Really Good for Special Event Businesses?

Check out this link from Special Events Magazine website regarding Blogs.

What is your take on the Blogging Phenomenon? Are Blogs good for business?!?!?

Are Blogs Really Good for Special Event Businesses?

Posted using ShareThis

Monday, March 29, 2010

Fresh! 2010 at Elkins Estate

Last week a few members of the PFI team attended the Fresh! 2010 event at Elkins Estate in Elkins Park, PA.

The estate is absolutely gorgeous and great for events! Although it's a bit of a hop, skip and a jump from Center City Philadelphia, it's still a fantastic venue and was decorated beautifully for the event.

Here's a shot of a few of the PFI team members at the event:

Friday, March 26, 2010

Great Ideas for Teen Events

Having a Prom, Sweet 16, Graduation Party, Bar or Bat Mitzvah? Call Planning Factory International to create an "Activity Room" with all the newest fun entertainment available! The kids will love playing Rock Band, Wii Games, or Dance Dance Revolution to name a few. And they can't resist stepping up to the mic for hi-tech Karaoke. Don't forget the Photo Booth- everyone goes home with a memento from your event and nothing but praise for your fresh ideas.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Today's Bar & Bat Mitzvah Idea

A great Bar and Bat Mitzvah idea that is very popular with our clients is the Teen Lounge. We know that the kids don't want to sit at the same round tables at which the adults sit- they are way too busy with all the activities the Planning Factory provides for the special day. Instead we offer a Lounge that fits the overall experinece and signature decor!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Do any of you schedule Blog Posts to be published at a later date?

PFI is in the midst of working on a new promotion that will require twice daily blog posts. In order to execute successfully, we want to schedule postings to be released early every morning and late every evening.

Have any of our Facebook Fans, Bloggers, etc had success in pre-planned posts?

Do tell!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Board Nomination

PFI Director of Social Events Susan Simmons's nomination to the Board of Directors for the Delaware HIV Consortium was accepted today. According to Peter Houle Executive Director "It was a landslide victory!"

Susan is very proud to serve this fabulous organization that facilitates HIV prevention efforts and raises private money to provide for those needs that are not covered by publicly funded mandates.

The Delaware HIV Consortium will hold it's annual WOW GALA on April 17, 2010 at the Clarion Belle. Check it out!!!

PFI & PFB Featured in the March/April Edition of Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine

News Alert, News Alert!

Planning Factory International and Planning Factory Bermuda are featured in the March/April 2010 edition of Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine, an excellent event and meeting industry journal.

(Click Here to check out the article in the online publication. If you're not immediately taken to page 54-55 of the online magazine, you can enter the page numbers on the site.)

The article features the Event Marketing Launch of Planning Factory Bermuda which was held on May 12, 2009 at Tom Moore's Tavern. The event, which featured live sign spinners, Mirror Man, Respondr, a live Cherry Blossom Tree, Capoeira Dancers, and so much more was a huge success for PFI/PFB.... not to mention the talk of the island!

Thanks to Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine for the recognition!


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

As I was perusing this month's issue of Travel & Leisure Magazine, I stumbled upon a fantastic website:

This free website offers you the ability to create an account and monitor any/all of your frequent flier miles, hotel reward programs and car rental points in one, concise program.


What I love MOST about this site is the ability it has to monitor upcoming expiration dates for unused frequent flier miles. It virtually eliminates the ability to miss using your hard-earned miles, points, etc.

Check it out and let us know what you think!

Eventfully yours...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Contracts, Negotiation, Addendums, Oh My!

There's not a day that goes by that a member of the PFI/PFB team is not working on a Contract. Whether it's in the form of releasing an RFP for a new program, negotiating the final details of a Contract or revising our Standard Addendum based on agreements made by both parties, we're always handling something.

With that said, we've learned over the years that if we're not pleased with a Contract that's provided or find an agreement too "loose", we take it upon ourselves to create our own Contract, which protects both parties.

Today a team member drafted a fantastic "Entertainment Contract" to further protect our client for an upcoming event. Nicely done!

Never be afraid to try something new and work to protect your company, your event and most importantly your client.

Eventfully yours...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


For those of you who follow the PFI/PFB Blog, have you found us on Facebook?

Not only do the PFI team have their own individual pages, but so does Planning Factory International, Planning Factory Bermuda and Decadent Dining.

The next time you're on Facebook, be sure to check us out:

Planning Factory International

Planning Factory Bermuda

Decadent Dining

I wonder which page will have the largest fan base?

Eventfully yours...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Custom Tablescape Featured in Special Events Magazine

Congrats to Planning Factory International for their custom tablescape design nominated at the 2010 Special Event Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Moi (Ce Soir?)
(Do you want to sleep with me (this evening)?)

This phrase appears in the Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire located in the 2010 Special Event Conference host city of New Orleans. In our tribute to the world's oldest profession, the table is set to entertain "gentleman callers" in this New Orleans parlor scene.

Please visit this link to see the write up in the online edition of the Special Events Magazine, our industry's #1 trade journal.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Winter 2010

To Snow or Not To Snow?!?
A little snow won't stop Planning Factory International! As the threat of a "Winter Storm Warning" and "Wind Advisory" are upon us for the third time this year, we realized that a forecast for six inches no longer scares us from leaving our homes! Stay tuned to the weather forecast at We'll be here if you need us!

Networking Event

I attended an ISES event last night in Philadelphia at Del Frisco's on Chestnut Street. Great venue, fantastic food and an open bar. What more could an event professional ask for???

Anyways - during the evening's presentation by Evan Marcus, we were asked to participate in a "faux" networking session in which we introduced ourselves to strangers in the room asking them this:

"How can I help you?"

Now, at first I thought - well that's easy. I'll just march right up to someone, stick out my hand, introduce myself and ask them the question.

What I found difficult, however, was being on the receiving end of this question.

What do you say when someone asks how they can help you?

It was a really interesting exercise.

In the end, this question led to more dialog - asking for clarification on what it is each of us did - how our companies could partner, where we could find common practices. It ended up being a really insightful conversation and has led me to consider asking this question in real life situations.

What would YOU say to someone when they ask you this question???

Monday, February 22, 2010

Tastings or Test Dinners

Tastings (or Test Dinners) of an original menu selected from (or completely off) the menu of a venue or caterer are an integral part of the event experience. We at Planning Factory feel that your event food and beverage should never be left to a "package plan". Just like our signature environments, what you eat and drink should be unique and custom.
When creating your event we choose from a variety of foods, cuisines, wines, or even specific ingredients to accentuate and underscore the nuances of the experience.

Even service style also comes into play. Will the hors d'oeuvres be passed or stationary? On what kind of plates will the appetizer be placed? Will there be a dual entree or not? Stations or served? Family-style or a three-course "Piazza" service? All these decisions deserve attention; as do all the details of your special evening. We always suggest that you request the opportunity to become familiar with the taste and visuals of the menu before your event date.

Then get ready to enjoy a tasting experience professionally prepared by the chef and expertly guided by your Planning Factory International experience planner.

Virtual Events

Today the entire PFI team is attending a Virtual Conference via Virtual Edge 2010 Summit. The move in the industry is to go virtual or to at least hybrid your event. Through this 2-day workshop, we're gaining insight into this movement to bring back to our clients.

Stay tuned!

Friday, February 19, 2010

An Olympic Event

Unless you've been living under a rock this last week, you're aware the the 2010 Winter Olympic Games are in full swing in Vancouver, British Columbia. What a fantastic time to celebrate the greatest from around the world as they compete in the winter games.

I'm not the biggest sports fan you'll ever meet. I am, however, a fan of the Opening Ceremonies! Did anyone watch? It's amazing where you can find design ideas and inspiration! What have YOU taken away from the games thus far???

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Brainstorming Sessions

The Planning Factory Team works in a circular fashion. No one person is dedicated to a job, nor is one job designed solely by one individual. We're a team in every sense of the word and bring a multitude of experience and ideas to each event design.

With that said, one of my favorite things to do with my associates is BRAINSTORM!

Once an event is "on the books," we sit together as a team and throw out ideas from venues to colors, cuisine to music, location to signature environment designs. All, however, stem from the goals and objectives of the event. Nothing can be designed/created until we know the purpose of the event! Remember that!

After a hearty brainstorming session, only then can we get to work on a custom Event Description.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Queen's Visit

In November 2009, Planning Factory Bermuda was asked to handle the decor for a private dinner for the Queen of England at Tucker's Point Hotel and Spa in Bermuda.

This upscale, intimate dinner featured stunning table linens, hand-made chair covers, gorgeous floral centerpieces and so much more. No detail was spared!

Below are a series of photos from this royal affair!

A Night to Remember...

One of our team members was married last fall in two intimate ceremonies - one in Kenya, Africa - the second in Philadelphia, PA. To celebrate with friends and family, they decided to host a beautiful soiree at XIX at the Philadelphia Park Hyatt at the Bellevue Hotel in early February 2010.

Below are a series of photos from the beautiful affair.

Our wireless lighting units accentuated the stunning feature of this historic space.

Oversize pearls strung from above cascaded down and around the circular combined Champagne and Raw bar.

Beautiful specialty linens draped the tables.

A variety of seating options were featured with every turn.

Oversized windows with city views surround the room.

All in all, this was a spectacular evening. We'd expect nothing less from this couple!